1. Still Worth-less
Davenport schools Superintendent Art Tate continues to face possible sanctions from the state Board of Educational Examiners after taking a stand against Iowa's school funding formula that allows some school districts to spend much more per student than Davenport can. The funding inequity led local students to start a campaign that they are not "Worth-less" than others and led Tate to build a budget that calls for more spending than the state allows. That opened an ethics investigation against Tate that has dragged on for months. Tate said last week that he's been told the investigation is done, but now the state board must decide whether to seek formal charges against him. Stay tuned.
2. Back to class
That wasn't all Tate was concerned about last week. It was back-to-school time for Davenport schools as well as other Iowa Quad-City school district students. Many started back to class on Aug. 23, the earliest date allowed by the state. Davenport students returned to the classroom on Thursday. Watch out for speed limits in school zones now, and be careful around school buses.
3. Back to gridiron
Another school tradition opened Thursday night and continued in full force Friday: High school football teams took to the field again. Other fall sports already have opened their seasons, and football kicked off Thursday night with the first area game of the year at Brady Street Stadium. Davenport Central took on Burlington, and the Blue Devils came away with a 38-13 victory in the opener. Be sure to keep an eye on our Sports pages and qcvarsity.com for coverage this fall.
4. Going dark
OK, it wasn't completely dark in the Quad-Cities, but many of us stopped what we were doing just after 1 p.m. Monday to see the moon pass in front of the sun, causing the great eclipse of 2017. From Niabi Zoo to libraries and from the Putnam Museum to area businesses, Quad-Citizens used special glasses and gazed into the sky to see the rare, exciting event.
5. Different gig
Speaking of exciting events, a festival debuted Friday and Saturday in downtown Davenport with an unusual name: Alternating Currents. The festival included more than 100 comedy, film, music and art events at more than a dozen venues spread around downtown. Many of the events were free, and it was all organized by the Downtown Davenport Partnership with lots of help from others.
6. Guilty verdict
A year ago, 29-year-old Romane Nunn Sr. lost his life when he was stabbed in Davenport's LeClaire Park while playing the then-popular mobile game app Pokemon Go. On Friday, after a weeklong trial, William E. Crawford was found guilty of second-degree murder in Nunn's death. Crawford testified that he thought Nunn was responsible for an attack on his girlfriend, although that wasn't true. Two others have pleaded guilty to lesser charges for participating in the attack on Nunn. Crawford faces up to 50 years in prison.
7. Building Bridges
The Twin Bridges Motor Inn started coming down last week, and soon, The Bridges apartment development will be rising in its place. The downtown Bettendorf eyesore has long been in the city's sights, and heavy equipment took aim at the structure early in the week. By week's end, the decrepit motel along with the Paddle Wheel tavern were toast. Now, Des Moines-based Newbury Living will get started on a $22 million development that eventually will include two apartment buildings.
8. Costco gets go-ahead
Another development took a big step forward last week, when the Davenport City Council gave final approval to a rezoning request for 17.88 acres of land on the north side of East 53rd Street just west of Elmore Avenue. Costco Wholesale plans to put a 156,170-square-foot retail building and fuel station on the site. Now, Costco must submit engineering and building plans to the city for technical review, but the company hopes to have the store open by next summer.
9. No go in the Village
Yet another development faces a big obstacle and may be dead. Businessman Gregg Ontiveros proposed a five-story, 48-unit apartment building on property at East River Drive and Mound Street in the Village of East Davenport. He said the building had to be that size to make the project work financially. Problem is that regulations say that building is too tall for the Village, and the Davenport Zoning Board of Adjustment decided to stick with the regulation on a 3-1 vote last week. Ontiveros' option now is to give up on his plans or appeal to the courts.
10. No more Kelly's
One of our most popular stories last week on qctimes.com was about Kelly's Irish Pub & Eatery, the establishment on East 53rd Street in Davenport that hosts a major St. Patrick's Day Festival each year complete with skydiving leprechauns, concerts and lots of beer and corned beef and cabbage. Now, the bar has closed. Dan Kelly, who opened the pub in 2004, said simply, "It was just time to move on." Cheers!